A suspect in the killing of 25-year-old Indian student Sharath Koppu in Kansas City has been killed in an exchange of fire with the police, leaving three undercover officers injured, US authorities said on Monday.
Koppu was fatally shot on July 6 in the back during a suspected attempted robbery at a restaurant where he worked in the US state of Missouri.
The police officials on Sunday found the suspect involved in the shooting, but when two undercover officers conducting surveillance approached the man, he shot them with a rifle and fled, leaving both officers injured, Kansas City Star reported.
That encounter touched off a series of gunfights between the suspect, whose name has not been released, and police. In all, three officers were injured and the potential suspect was killed, the report said.
The three officers’ wounds were not life-threatening, police said.
The attack on the two undercover officers started at a motel in east Kansas City, the shootings continued an hour later then ended after a short standoff and the suspect’s death, it added.
The homicide detectives had released the surveillance video of a possible suspect within a day. A few tips came in. Soon, police had identified the man they called a person of interest.
Detectives were looking for the man all week, Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith was quoted as saying by the report.
“This is the first time we laid eyes on him,” Smith said.
Two undercover detectives followed a car the man was riding. “That’s when the engagement took place,” Smith said.
The man shot the two undercover officers with a rifle and escaped along with a second person in a vehicle, according to police. The vehicle and the other person were soon found by police.
The Indian Association of Kansas City praised the police for pursuing Koppu’s shooting diligently and that “there is some closure” with the person of interest’s death.
“We are happy to hear that the suspect was caught and justice has been served to Koppu. On the same lines, we are equally disheartened hearing about the three officers who were shot in pursuit. Our thoughts and prayers are with them for a speedy recovery,” Jagdeesh Subramanian, president of the India Association of Kansas City, said in a statement.
Koppu from Telangana was a software engineer who came to the US in January to pursue his master’s degree.
Last week, his body was laid to rest in Telangana after his last rites were performed in Warangal.